Saturday, January 23, 2010

Preview for Royals Kingdom Radio 1/24/2010

Big show lined up for tomorrow! We'll have Daniel Shoptaw from the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and C70 at the Bat, a St. Louis Cardinals blog. We'll have his thoughts on Rick Ankiel and we'll talk about the Baseball Bloggers Alliance.

We'll focus on what the Ankiel deal means for the Royals this year and possibly in the future.

Tune in tomorrow at 4pm only on 1140 KCXL! If you aren't in the listening area, stream it on your computer or iPhone here

After Ankiel, What's Next for KC?

At first there was outrage. Then optimism. Then delusion. Finally, acceptance. Acceptance of the fact that Rick Ankiel will be a Kansas City Royal.

Once again, a move that I am ok with. Ankiel improves our outfield defense. He provides a measure of protection for Billy Butler if his power returns and he is able to stay healthy. His contract is also a very club-friendly deal. His $3.25 million dollar salary is much cheaper than what his agent, Scott Boras was asking for (3 years/$15 million). Included in the deal is a mutual option for 2011 worth $6 million.

Rick Ankiel is not young. He will be 30 when the season starts and 31 when it is over. I'm not sure what the Royals plans are, but I'm sure we are about to see a decent sized roster shakeup.

First off, our outfield is now pretty crowded as Ankiel joins David DeJesus, Scott Podsednik, Brian Anderson, Mitch Maier, Jose Guillen and possibly Josh Fields.

Of that group, Anderson has minor league options left. Maier is out of options and it is possible that Maier will move on after spring training.

So that leaves us with DeJesus, Scotty Pods, Guillen and Ankiel.

I doubt that any of those will accept a role as a 4th OF.

DeJesus has the most trade value out the group, but his production is going to be greatly needed in this lineup. Guillen has little to no trade value as he probably will start the year on the DL. Podsednik has all but been guaranteed a starting spot. Ankiel is too good of a defender to sit on the bench.

I think it is obvious what needs to be done. Jose Guillen needs to be released.

The $12 million dollars is already spent. If you trade Guillen, you will have to eat nearly all of his salary. He is hurt, nobody wants him. You have to designate him for assignment and let him explore his options elsewhere. That leaves you with a quick, defensively sound outfield that is suited for Kauffman Stadium.

Now, if Dayton Moore goes with the not-so-obvious move of trading DeJesus, there are several areas that need improvement on this ballclub. A trade for DeJesus would have to garner a young lefty pitcher and one or two young infield prospects, maybe even a catcher.

If DDJ is traded, this opens up a big competition for the final OF spot between Maier, Anderson and minor leaguers Jordan Parraz (hit .348 in AA and AAA in '09) and David Lough (hit .325 also in AA and AAA in '09).

With either move, it could possibly benefit the Royals. If Guillen is released, I am positive it would benefit the club (see my post below as to why). As for a trade for DeJesus, it would pain me to see him go, but if the return is substantial, then I won't feel too awful about it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

In a Perfect World...

First off, I want to thank everyone who tuned in to the Royals Kingdom Radio Show this weekend. It was another great show that has received tremendous positive feedback. A big thank you to Greg Schaum who was our guest.

On to bigger things...

The thing that stood out to me the most this weekend during my interview with Schaum, was that he said Jose Guillen's rehab is not going as well as the Royals planned (big surprise). So this news stirred up my interest in what may happen before spring training starts on February 18.

We've seen it year in and year out. The Royals make awful trades, sign marginal talent in free agency, etc. But with the news of Guillen's rehab mess, the Royals are presented with a huge decision. Do you try to rehab Jose and try to get at least 100 games out of him or do you eat the $12 million dollar contract, release him and give players already in the organization a shot at the big league club during spring training? Hopefully the Royals are looking at the latter as their primary option. If you release Jose Guillen, it is addition by subtraction. There are no big money, long term contract-type free agents left. You already have money allotted for the draft and you are in year two of a refurbished stadium that will probably continue to generate revenue. Eating $12 million dollars in salary will not hurt you in the short term or the long term.

My advice: eat the contract.

The $12 million still owed to Guillen is not the issue here. The issue is that Guillen will more than likely be a negative influence on the team. If he stays on the team, he will probably see multiple stints on the disabled list and only hamper the development of this team.

So what options do the Royals have?

Option 1: Keep Jose Guillen. Pay him $12 million dollars. Have him play in less than 80 games, hit 8 home runs, drive in 50 runs, commit defensive miscues in Right Field, take away DH reps from Billy Butler, continue to strike out in big situations and prevent this team from winning games.

Option 2: Cut Jose Guillen. Pay him $12 million dollars. Call up Kila Ka'aihue and platoon him with Josh Fields at the DH position. Place Mitch Maier in RF. This immediately improves the Royals defense and gives young players a chance to develop.

It may seem like the Royals don't have many options right now, but this is definitely an option. If Dayton Moore can cut dead weight with Jose Guillen, admit a mistake and eat the huge salary, this will be a positive move for the Royals.

It isn't that complicated. There aren't miles of red tape and circumstances that are inhibiting this team's ability and chance to contend, only a seemingly incompetent GM who can't evaluate talent at the Major League level.